The Second Coming

January 22, 2017

Yeats wrote his classic The Second Coming at the end of WW l

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

 

The Brilliant Brazilian Carlos Latuff adds his riff

 

latuff-trump

Judith Miller, propagandist

January 20, 2017

Even though we live in an amnesia-making culture,there are enough sharpies around to remember. and hold phonies to account.

 

Witness the case of Judith Miller. For those who were narcotized by the fun culture or got caught up in Sportsworld and never paid attention, here’s the story.

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Judith Miller is now the current theater critic and Fox News commentator .

And you may ask who is Judith Miller

Well a lot of people do remember her as the lousy stenographer for the Bush admin, the woman given a huge bully pulpit as a National Security reporter for the New York Times, the paper of record which failed drastically in the search for WMD in Iraq

You would think a person like this would simply go away but she obviously has no shame and has reinvented herself as a theatre critic and now has a voice on Fox news,

Here’s where it gets rich. On Tuesday Jan 16 Miller carved Obama for commuting the draconian sentence of Chelsea Manning and then asked the question : how many people died because of her leaks. NONE!

Well people had a field day at her expense.

Mark Colvin

@Colvinius
@JMfreespeech I dunno, Judith. How many died because you peddled lies about Saddam’s WMD?
Peter Kofod @peterkofod
Good question Judy. It has an factual answer: None. Zero.
How many people died because of the Iraq War you helped enable with fake news?
https://

Iain Thomson

@iainthomson
@JMfreespeech @USATODAY That would be none. How many died because you failed as a journalist? Got to be pushing seven figures by now.
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Keith Olbermann

@KeithOlbermann
Judith Miller’s inability to recognize the fact or breadth of her own body count is one of the great rationalizations of history

The woman is the laughing stock of the Twitterverse.

Chris Hedges in 2011

Miller was given free rein by senior management because she exhibited the amorality that is prized by the management. She served only their own career and those editors who could make those careers advance. She and jason Miller who faked stories were grotesque prototypes, to be sure, but they exemplified the subservience to authority and abject careerism that poisons the institution.

 

Blair and Miller, whose behavior was reprehensible, were fired. But they were also scapegoats. They, and many at the paper, have no real moral compass… The entire paper—I speak as someone who was there at the time—enthusiastically served as a propaganda machine for the impending invasion of Iraq. It was not only Miller.

Joe McCarthy in Israel

January 17, 2017

Israel should be very thankful for its newpaper Haaretz, curreently read by 4% of the  citizenry. The majority (40%) get their info from fishwrap called Israel Hayom, a gift from the American idolator of Benyamin Netanyahu Sheldon Adelson

 

Today’s editorial speaks for itself and mocks the idea  of Israel as a democracy.

free-sp
The Knesset Interior Committee last week advanced a bill that, if passed, would forbid the granting of entry visas or residence permits to foreign nationals who have called for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of Israel or the settlements.
The private member’s bill was sponsored by MKs Betzalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) and Roy Folkman (Kulanu). Folkman explained that the bill “Is directed primarily at organizations that work against Israel,” that is, promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions, and that “all told the law changes the prism from the current situation in which visas are automatically granted … to a situation in which entry will automatically be barred unless the interior minister decides to permit it.”

 
That “all told” is not innocent, but disingenuous. The true purpose of the bill is to impose a sweeping sanction on anyone who doesn’t accept the Israeli occupation policy, and on anyone who believes that a boycott of the settlements or of Israel – which facilitates the settlements and their prosperity – may help halt this 50-year-old injustice. It’s not concern for Israel that is motivating the bill’s sponsors and its supporters, but the silencing of foreigners who oppose the occupation.
Folkman’s dissembling was revealed in a shameful fashion, when during the debate in committee, a representative of the Justice Ministry suggested exempting Palestinians with residency permits who live in Israel under family unification procedures. To this request, committee chairman MK David Amsalem said, “Why should I let someone into my home who denigrates and undermines the state?” while Smotrich added, “Whoever isn’t embarrassed to accept a favor or privilege while spitting in our faces during a probation period should be the first to lose his residency permit.”
So it’s clear that the true purpose of the law is to be a disproportionate whip against whoever criticizes Israeli policy, even if we’re talking about Palestinians whose lives are rooted in Israel and whose residency permit is in any case held as collateral. It’s not far-fetched to assume that the next stage will be preventing the entry of Israelis living abroad who express support for boycotts. Equally absurd is the possibility of any Jew living abroad who supports boycotting the settlements will be entitled to immigrate to Israel, but will not be able to enter the country under the new law.

mccarthy
If the bill indeed passes its final readings and is implemented, a “blacklist” will be input into the border inspection computers and anyone appearing on it will be stopped at Ben-Gurion Airport. This, together with enforcement of the Anti-Boycott Law, which applies to Israeli citizens, will turn Israel into a model of McCarthyism.

 

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Boycotts for political reasons are a legitimate tool that falls under the protection of freedom of political expression. Nationalist and messianic MKs must not be allowed to turn Israel into a closed, reclusive fortress. This unnecessary bill should be removed from the Knesset’s agenda.

 

Gideon bible on way out

January 15, 2017

Shocking news from the hospitality industry.

gideo

Gideon bibles are on their way out!

A staple in every hotel, the free bible by your bedside is becoming a thing of the past.
According to a new study by hospitality analytics group STR, the percentage of hotels that offer religious materials in rooms has dropped by almost half in the last decade– from 95 percent of  in 2006 to just 48 percent this year.

“It’s because the religious books don’t fit the personality of the brands,” Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore told the Los Angeles Times when speaking about the dramatic change.

According to some industry experts, hotels are trying to appeal to younger American travelers who tend to be less religious than their parents. The casual Bible placement has also declined to avoid offending guests of other faiths, say industry experts.

 
The trend of removing Bibles from hotel rooms is also affecting properties overseas.

Travelodge hotels in Britain removed Bibles from their rooms in 2014 “in order not to discriminate against any religion,” the company said.

Arthur John Faye, the hip billionaire of Loveshack International Hotels has stepped up to the plate.The owner of 300 hotels across the world and in Scarborough, Faye a lapsed member of the New Democratic Party is replacing holy writ with Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States.

 

zinn

A dual citizen of both Canada and the USA, Faye was chagrined at how dumb Americans were about their own imperial history.

“We’ve been fed patriotic crap for decades. No country is safe from our intervention anywhere. We have made common cause with every tin pot dictator in the world as long as he kept the resources flowing our way. We don’t want to know.just keep singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Who keeps the Middle East in turmoil?

Does anybody in Mississippi or Texas know that Israel receives more of America’s foreign aid budget than any other nation.The US has, in fact, given more aid to Israel than it has to all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined—which have a total population of over a billion people.What gives?

Why are we propping up such an affluent nation? $250 billion since 1948.What gives? All we get from this is the hatred of the Arab world.
No American wants the truth—we’re too busy watching Bachellorette, NFL football and other nonsense. We are an empire and Zinn lays it all out.

Also as soon as Trump is inaugurated I am adding Noam Chomsky’s The State of Our World to the mix. Every bathroom will have a copy.”

Friedman gets “anti-occupation” religion

January 13, 2017

Was the USA under Obama friendlier than any other US president in modern memory, Gideon Levy was asked by Amy Goodman. Note longtime Israel backer Tom Friedman suddenly getting “anti-occupation” religion as the world’s media has finally caught up with Israel’s brutal occupation.

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Many of us have been using similar metaphors as to what constitutes real friendship when you find a friend losing his bearings, his morality and sense of justice. Do you praise him or take his bottle, pills, drugs away from him. A friend lovingly intervenes.Friedman has made a career of staying silent—until the obvious hits him right in the face.

Gideon Levy responds,” You may call it friendly, and I would call it very hostile, because supplying Israel with more drugs just to get Israel satisfied is not friendship. It is hostility. And I think that President Obama, as great as he is, he really thought that, with Israel, it will go only with carrots. And we know by now that the last thing you can do with Israel is treat Israel with carrots, because Israel learned in those years, in those eight years of Obama, more than ever before, that it can do whatever it wants. The United States is still in its pocket.

occ22

 

Many times when you were watching the relations between Israel and the United States in the recent years, one could even ask himself, “Who is really the superpower between the two? And who is really the friend of whom here?” because, as Tom Friedman wrote just today in The New York Times, you don’t supply a driver with more alcohol, you don’t let him drive drunk. And Obama let Israel drive drunk.

A shonda and hillul hashem

January 10, 2017

Religions are never pure. All have their outliers. Nixon had his rabbi, Baruch Korff, Catholicism had its Fr.Coughlin and those scandalous popes of the Borgias. There is no end to wacky mullahs without learning and credibility. Israel has ist share of rabbinic posers who sanctify occupation and and anti-Arab hostility. So Trump now has his rabbi to bless what? Who knows.

Now that the Donald has a 16 year old singer to headline his inaugural he has his rabbi. Marvin Hier could not resist his 15 minutes

 

hier

But wait. all is not kosher in the Jewish community.

Hier’s friend Rabbi Moskovitz publicly upbraids him.

Rabbi Marvin Hier should not give a blessing to this President at the Inauguration next week. I appreciate Rabbi Hier’s work at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles (a community where I too was a rabbi for 13 years). He has done a great deal to advance the cause of racial/religious tolerance and to fight anti-Semitism. Rabbi Hier also previously served in my current community of Vancouver, British Columbia, where he is still spoken of in high regard. But Rabbi Heir is wrong on this issue and his lack of rabbinic judgement reflects poorly on all rabbis.

 

A rabbi is a symbolic exemplar. When we appear or speak publicly we represent more than ourselves, we represent Judaism. Not just “the Jewish people” but also the moral/ethical code of the Jewish tradition. The Talmud instructs us, “It is not the place that honors the person, but the person that honors the place.” (Ta’anit 21b). It is not an honor for Rabbi Hier or the Jewish religion to be associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric, it is a shanda, a disgrace.

 

When asked what blessing he will bestow Rabbi Hier stated that he will offer readings, recite an original prayer and give Mr. Trump and incoming Vice President Mike Pence each a personal blessing. Not a blessing for the nation, but upon the man. At present Mr. Trump’s venomous insults continue unabated by his new station, and are inseparable from the high office he is about to occupy. Thus to bless Mr. Trump in this most public of way is to bless all that he has said and stands for. Rabbi Hier’s participation as a Rabbi gives a Jewish hechsher, a kosher certification to the swearing in of a man whose social conduct, rhetoric and fomenting of hate and division are directly at odds with Jewish tradition (and the work of Museum of Tolerance that Rabbi Hier leads). I firmly believe that it would be hillul hashem (a desecration of G-d’s name) to give a rabbinic imprimatur to this man at this time.

The myth of Israel as poor David

January 9, 2017

The Israeli musician, conductor and blogger   Jonathan Ofir, now living in Denmark, aptly sums up one of the biggest propaganda campaigns ever indulged in by Israel leaders, viz that poor little David was under mortal threat by the massive Arab juggernaut in June 1967.I cover this material in my upcoming book.

For decades israel has successfully promoted this hoary tale, hasbara, propaganda to cement its historical right to all of Palestine.

 

John Kerry has been given many kudos for his “magisterial” warning” to Israel—always after an American election, never before and never in eight years did they risk offending the strong Zionist lobby.never once did they refuse  the billions they sent to help pen up the indigenous population of Palestine. In terms of Israel’s  imminent demise in `1967 Kerry totally missed the boat

 

sixd

“The Six-Day War, when Israel again fought for its survival”, says Kerry.

 

NOT

 

This tells you all you need to know about what is wrong with the Democrats.

Ofir licts the all-known debunked myth of Israel as little David.
Another myth, dispelled by Israel’s own leaders and generals:

Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a member of the cabinet in June 1967 said that “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him”.

 

prl

General Matti Peled, Chief of Operations in 1967: “I am convinced that our General Staff never told the government [of Levi Eshkol] that there was any substance to the Egyptian military threat to Israel, or that we were not capable of crushing Nasser’s army which had exposed itself, with unprecedented foolishness, to the devastating strikes of our forces…. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary for our ‘defense’ against the Egyptian threat….To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence not only insults the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to Zahal [the Israeli Army].”

There are numerous similar accounts.

 

Rabin: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

Mordecai Bentov (member of the wartime national government): “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”

General Haim Bar-Lev (Rabin’s predecessor as chief of staff): “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six Days War, and we had never thought of such a possibility.”

Ezer Weizman, Chief of Operations during the war (by the way nephew of Chaim Weizmann): “There was never any danger of annihilation. This hypothesis has never been considered in any serious meeting.”

And finally, to sum this up with Peled once again: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.”

The myth was fosterec to bring Americans solidly into the Israeli camp.At this time, the Palestinian voice ws unheard and the West was still shouldering holocaust guilt.

It has taken 50 years for the world to ewake to the Palestinian dispossession and occupation.

 

History may take a long time but a lie never lasts for ever.

 

Elor Azaria the self-hating Arab

January 8, 2017

Azaria, let it be noted, is not the only one who coolly shot a Palestinian, a live, dying or already dead one – he’s just the only one captured on film.
Ron Cahlili Haaretz contributor

Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces from Jan 19,2009 to Nov.30,2016

2704 in Gaza, 322 in the West Bank and 33 Israelis killed in same timwe period,

elor

 

Sgt. Elor Azaria was convicted on January 3 by a military court in Jaffa of manslaughter for the execution of Abdel Fatah al-Sharif as he lay incapacitated in the street in Hebron last March, and there were immediate calls from Israeli political leaders and the public for the 20-year-old soldier to be pardoned. The story made major news throughout the world.The murder was filmed by a Palestinian human rights activist volunteering for B’tselem the israeli human rights group. Since then he has received hundreds of death threats.

Haaretz applauded the verdict:
This time, the rule of law won, but we must continue to be on guard. If the killing of an already-neutralized terrorist by an IDF soldier were to pass without appropriate punishment, the longstanding IDF ethos of “purity of arms” would finally disappear and the distinction between Israel and the worst of its enemies – countries in which the rule of law doesn’t govern actions – would be blurred. But according to a survey in August by the Israel Democracy Institute, 65 percent of the Jewish public supports Azaria and his claim of self-defence.

In October, Azaria was named man of the year by Israel’s Channel 10 and by Makor Rishon, a publication owned by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

eklor-2

 

If you do not understand the cleft in Israeli politics you are not alone.

Azaria is a sad case, an 18 year old kid, the son of a Morrocan Jew,a  Mirahi. These “black peons” as they are sometimes known by the Ashkenazi elite do the ugly work in the occupied territoeries. The worst hard asses of course are the Russians who have little or no experience of human rights.The Mizrahi (Jews of Arab descent) often are desperate to please the Ashkenazxi or European leadership in Israel, so to fit in they must prove how tough they are. so they turn on fellow Arabs.It is tragic

Ron Cahlili a Haretz contributor lays this out in Jan 5 Haaretz article, summed up:

Elor Azaria isn’t everyone’s child – he’s child of the new Israeli right, and had he come from a good Ashkenazi family, the national debate would have been about the futile occupation and how it criminalized one of our finest.

He further adds:

Besides, as everybody knows, this is the IDF spirit: to despise Arabs, to fear them, to view them as despicable murderers, as people lacking a narrative, whose only motivation is hatred of Jews. The popular term for this is “poisoned,” expressed as a compliment, not an insult.

Now Cahlili like many Haaretz writers has an ironic sense of humour.Witness this:

Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot is right. Elor Azaria isn’t everyone’s child, but he’s definitely the child of some of us. He’s a child of the military units on the ground, in daily friction with Palestinians, not a child of the good guys from the elite 8200 cyberwarfare unit or from the air force, the ones who drop a one-ton bomb on Gaza that kills entire families, while noting only a shudder of a wing tip, all under the auspices of the law and the Israeli mainstream.

Who remembers Ben Salmon?

January 6, 2017

I wonder how many Catholics ever heard of Ben Salmon.

benny
It seems to me his life would have made Christmas come alive as we welcomed the birth of the Prince of Peace.

In 1989 Torin Finney wrote Ben’s life Unsung Hero of the Great War (Paulist Press, 1989 —in my library somewhere. Maybe I lent it out. His life was inspiring. That of the official leadership, less so.

At Christmas Jack Gilroy wrote his homage to this saint.always trust the Catholic Worker to maintain pacifist New Testament principles.

Then the great Jesuit John Dear picked the story up in 2010

The story begins April 6, 1917. It was the day President Woodrow Wilson, the “peace president,” declared war on Germany, and the next day, Congress ratified the decision, bringing the United States. into World War I. Two weeks later, Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore, the de facto head of the U.S. Catholic church, issued a letter, to this effect: all Catholics were to support the war.

 
The letter was soon followed by the founding of the U.S. Bishops’ “National Catholic War Council,” which set out to mobilize Catholics for, what it called, “war work.” Peacework? Peacemaking? That was never an option. (According to historians, this War Council eventually led to the creation of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops.)As the darkness descended, on June 5, 1917, 28 year-old-Ben Salmon took up his pen. He wrote the president, saying he would refuse to fight. “Regardless of nationality,” he wrote,

all men are my brothers. God is “our father who art in heaven.” The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is unconditional and inexorable. … The lowly Nazarene taught us the doctrine of non-resistance, and so convinced was he of the soundness of that doctrine that he sealed his belief with death on the cross. When human law conflicts with Divine law, my duty is clear. Conscience, my infallible guide, impels me to tell you that prison, death, or both, are infinitely preferable to joining any branch of the Army.

A brave missive in those days. Congress, suddenly fervid for war, wasted little time getting a new law on the books. It outlawed activities “detrimental to the war effort” — public anti-war statements, anti-war literature, utterances that might encourage draft resistance — all these punishable by up to 20 years behind bars.

Under the law, the authorities arrested hundreds, harassed thousands. And when challenged, finally, the law was upheld by the Supreme Court. Necessary for “national security,” they decreed.

Salmon had voted for Wilson. Like most, he had expected the president to lead the country to peace. And when the brilliant and upright candidate came to power and unleashed war, Salmon’s disappointment burned deep. Wilson outdid even his hawkish predecessors in warmaking. (A pattern, need it be added, quite obvious today.)

Undeterred by the chill on the air, Ben rose to leadership in Denver’s “People’s Council for Democracy and Peace,” a national anti-war organization. In defiance of the law, he wrote letters, gave speeches, and distributed pamphlets. Soon, he caught the attention of The New York Times, which hotly denounced him. He had become notorious.

Meantime, the gears of war turned feverishly, with a kind of census going full tilt to unearth prospective recruits. On Christmas day, Ben’s Army registration questionnaire arrived. Ben returned it, unfilled-out, accompanied by a letter explaining why. “Let those that believe in wholesale violation of the commandment, ‘Thou Shalt not Kill’ make a profession of faith by joining the army of war. I am in the army of peace, and in this army, I intend to live and die.”

Jan. 15, 1918, Denver policemen arrived at his door. The papers hurled slander his way, all sulfur and fire. The Knights of Columbus, the prominent Catholic lay association, in a fit of indignation revoked his membership. In March he was tried and convicted. And then the sentence came down — nine months in the county jail.

Gilroy writes that he was refused a priest and the eucharist. For 135 days prison guards poured liquids down his throat to keep him alive.

No support from the hierarchy.Cardinal James Gibbons encouraged RCs to join the war effort. .Cardinal Farley of New York: “Criticism of the government irritates me, it is short of treason.”

Hello Pontius Pilate!

Salmon was sentenced to death. This was commuted to 25 years. The government begged him to take an office job. For Salmon even non-combatant service, he said, entails cooperating with an institution “antithetical to Christianity.”

The war ended but not for Ben — solitary confinement — when he refused all orders. Five months he suffered in a dark, rat-infested cell. No toilet but a pail, bread and water his only food.

 
Matters grew worse yet when in June, 1919, the authorities transferred him to a military prison in Utah, where sadistic guards took a dim view of conscientious objectors. The guards inflicted beatings, withheld food, and kept prisoners underdressed against the cold.

“Christ’s doctrine to overcome evil with good” is the “most effective solution for individual and society ills that has ever been formulated. It is a practical policy…My life, my family, everything is now in the hands of God. His will be done.”

Two weeks later, death loomed, and he asked to see a priest. The priest arrived, but refused to offer him Communion, hear his confession or anoint him. Two other priests arrived some days later. And, after sizing things up, one of them agreed to the request for Communion. The sacrament was done. When word made its way back to the diocese, a fury descended. The priest was sent packing. Off to minor and punitive assignments in Oregon for pitying a traitor. Another instance of church colluding with warmongering state.

Today From the ACLU archives we have the fruits of Ben’s efforts, a 200-page, single-spaced essay on the fallacy of the just war. Much of it a refutation of the Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on war by Father Macksey, a Jesuit from the Gregorian University in Rome. Point by point Ben refutes the lofty scholar.

“Either Christ is a liar or war is never necessary, and very properly assuming that Christ told the truth, it follows that the State is without [in the words of Father Macksey] ‘judicial authority to determine when war is necessary,’ because it is never necessary.”

Much of Salmon’s thinking depended on the Apostle Paul. “Overcome evil with good,” admonished Paul. (Rom 12:21).

We do not attempt to overcome lying with lies; we overcome it with truth. We do not try to overcome curses with curses, but we overcome with silence or with words of friendship. Sickness is not overcome with sickness; it is overcome with health… Anger is overcome with meekness, pride by humility. And the successful way to overcome the evil of war is by the good of peace, a steadfast refuse to render evil for evil.

A sad matter when faithfulness, nonviolence, sanity, as it was in Jesus’ own day, is regarded as — insanity. Finally the well-respected Msgr. John Ryan of Catholic University got wind of the news and personally lobbied the Secretary of War.

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The War Department, in a feeble way, finally relented — they would release 33 conscientious objectors. Ben would be among them. Thanksgiving 1920, he was released and, from the army he never joined, dishonorably discharged. The news made front pages across the nation.

Persona non grata thereafter, he struggled to find good work. And when the Depression set in, he and his family landed in deep poverty. His health never recovered — the forced feedings had taken their toll — and in 1932 he caught pneumonia and died.
The astonishing life and times of Ben Salmon, all but unheard of in our day and age.

John Dear’s summary of Salmon’s life:

I regard him as a saint for the ages. He took on the nation, he took on Christendom. He took them on in reverence toward the Christ of peace. He shows us what allegiance to the nonviolent Jesus looks like.

A handful of great peacemakers have been given us: Franz Jagerstatter and Dorothy Day, Philip Berrigan and Howard Zinn. Yet most bishops and priests, and following their lead, most of the laity, still cheer on state-sanctioned mass murder, especially when committed in Jesus’ name. They go along, they rock few boats.

More, among our military, a third are Catholic. Vastly more theologians than not, like Father Macksey, pursue justifications for war. I get the feeling that the bishops wish they could start a new “National Catholic War Council;” they certainly haven’t formed a “Peace Council.” And today, as in Ben’s own day, an eloquent president, elected on promises of peace, has taken warmaking to new heights. The times, Ben’s and ours, run parallel. And that being the case, one of the brightest beacons we have is Ben.

His example urges us to refuse to cooperate with the warmaking state. Is the stand costly, are the stakes high? No matter.

“Peacemaking is hard, hard almost as war,” to quote the poet,Dan Berrigan

BERR
The vocation falls to us, Christians everywhere, to follow the nonviolent Jesus.

Two states: “I have to laugh”

January 3, 2017

The Second City comic Bill Murray often appeared  on Saturday Night Live with the punch line, usually uttered after some outlandish statement:”I have to laugh.”

I was thinking that  this line was  absolutely appropriate to “the two state solution.”

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The  prophetic Gideon Levy of Haaretz wrote

A question for declared supporters of the two-state solution, which means almost everyone, from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Prof. Shlomo Avineri: You all say that this solution is in great danger, maybe even in its death throes. So what needs to happen for you to admit that it has breathed its last? What else needs to happen for you to declare it dead? Another 10,000 settlers? Or 20,000? Another five years of stalemate? When will you admit it?
Most people know the truth but refuse to admit it. They know that the number of settlers has reached a critical mass. They know that no party in Israel will ever evacuate them. And without all of them being evacuated – and this, too, is something they know – there is no viable Palestinian state.

 

 

They know that settler Israel never intended to implement the two-state solution. The fact is that all Israeli governments – all of them – continued the settlement enterprise.
Two-state supporters are worried about the situation, even fearful. They are acting like the relatives of a moribund patient who is already brain dead, and whose organs are needed for transplants, but they refuse, hoping that somehow, a miracle will happen and the living dead will be resurrected. There are rabbis who promise them it’s possible. From Kerry to Avineri, this is exactly how proponents of two states are acting – hoping for a miracle and therefore preventing the life-saving transplants.

 

 

 

It’s hard to begin again from scratch. The two-state solution was ideal. It guaranteed relative justice to both sides and a state for each nation. But Israel did everything it could to destroy it via the settlements, the one irreversible factor in the equation of the Israel-Palestine relationship.

 

In other words, “I have to laugh.”